In Brief

Retailers call for working hour liberalization The Greek Retail Firms Association (SELPE) yesterday reiterated a call for the full liberalization of shop working hours, citing increased consumer and tourism requirements in the context of the 2004 Olympic Games. SELPE chairman Antonis Makris told a news briefing that many local authorities set working-hour schedules that do not comply with today’s standing legislation and drew attention to the expansion of hours in other EU member states. Makris complained about court prosecutions of shopkeepers accused of violating working hours and charged that the government is only interested in keeping a lid on inflation and unemployment. He also said that businesses were often surprised by new tax measures and were excluded from the EU-subsidized Third Community Support Framework investment plan. TVX Gold to take a charge on Greek projects TORONTO – Canada’s TVX Gold said on Monday it will take a charge of up to $250 million for the 2001 fourth quarter due to a write-down of its Greek development projects. TVX said the charge of between $240 and $250 million will be taken against fourth quarter 2001 earnings, mostly reflecting a write-down of its Greek development projects. On Friday, Greece’s supreme court annulled a decision by the government to issue permits to develop the company’s Olympias base metals mine into a gold producer. (Reuters) OA calls for arbitration Olympic Airways yesterday called for arbitration in its dispute with the State over the compensation it is entitled to for having had to withdraw from its hub at the old Hellenikon airport of Athens and relocate at Spata, according to a press release. The issue has remained unresolved since 1998, when the carrier asked for 68 billion drachmas (200 million euros), against 49 billion (144 million) approved by the Economy Ministry. Plane order Lockheed Martin Corp said yesterday it won an order worth up to $200 million to provide 12 C-27J Spartan aircraft to the Greek military, with an option for three more. The definitive actual order value and production schedule will be determined after final contract negotiations, the company said. (AFX News) CosmONE picks Microsoft CosmOTE mobile operator e-commerce arm CosmONE has chosen Microsoft technology for the full automation of its business-to-business (B2B) transaction system, a press release said yesterday. CosmONE Hellas MarketSite ( is the first company in Greece to launch e-commerce services for businesses. The turnover of CosmONE’s marketsite ( in 2001 reached 54.8 million euros, while the number of transactions grew from 50 in June to 350 in December. A pilot program for electronic auctions ( realized a total value of 25.2 million euros. «As far as Olympic Airways is concerned, this connection is not on,» he said, as the route is particularly costly to operate. «This connection is difficult but it must be done. However, we do not want subsidized routes.»

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